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Refereed Papers

Track: Data Mining: Learning

Paper Title:
Recommending Questions Using the MDL-based Tree Cut Model


The paper is concerned with the problem of question recommendation. Specifically, given a question as query, we are to retrieve and rank other questions according to their likelihood of being good recommendations of the queried question. A good recommendation provides alternative aspects around users' interest. We tackle the problem of question recommendation in two steps: first represent questions as graphs of topic terms, and then rank recommendations on the basis of the graphs. We formalize both steps as the tree-cutting problems and then employ the MDL (Minimum Description Length) for selecting the best cuts. Experiments have been conducted with the real questions posted at Yahoo! Answers. The questions are about two domains, 'travel' and 'computers & internet'. Experimental results indicate that the use of the MDL-based tree cut model can significantly outperform the baseline methods of word-based VSM or phrase-based VSM. The results also show that the use of the MDL-based tree cut model is essential to our approach.

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